French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

I have not had French Toast in forever, so I’ve been craving it lately. This recipe puts a twist on your typical french toast by adding a caramelized banana topping with tangy orange juice. The sauce was absolutely delicious, my only regret was that my bananas did not keep their perfect sliced shape. Besides the looks, this was perfect and I strongly recommend making this. I used ciabatta bread, but any egg, challah, or french bread will work. This recipe is from Williams Sonoma’s “Comfort Food” cookbook. Enjoy!

Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and nutmeg.

Dip bread slices in egg mixture, soak for 1 minute, and cook on hot griddle over medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side. Then transfer toast to oven for 10 minutes.

To make caramelized bananas, melt butter and add sliced bananas.

Cook over medium-high heat until bananas are brown. Add brown sugar and cook another minute. Then add orange juice and rum, if using, and cook for 1 minute.

Spoon caramelized bananas over french toast and serve hot.

French Toast with Caramelized Bananas
Ingredients
6 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
1/8 tsp nutmeg
6 slices of day old challah or other egg bread (I used ciabatta)
canola oil
3 bananas
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp dark rum (I omitted)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, granulated sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and nutmeg.
3. Cut the bread slices in half, add to the egg mixture, and turn gently to coat evenly. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture, about 1 minute.
4. Place a griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly oil the griddle. Remove bread from egg mixture, letting the excess liquid drip back into the bowl, and place on the hot griddle. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
5. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the center of the bread is heated through but still moist, about 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, make the caramelized bananas. Peel the bananas and slice diagonally. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the banana slices and cook, gently turning them occasionally, until they begin to brown, 2-3 minutes.
7. Sprinkle in the brown sugar and cook until it melts, about 1 minute. Gently stir in the 1/2 cup orange juice and rum, if using, and cook until the liquid has reduced slightly, about 1 minute. If the sauce seems too thick, add more juice until desired consistency.
8. Serve the french toast piping hot, topped with spoonfuls of the caramelized bananas.

Serves: 4

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